The one with the return of a rogue Time Agent, rhino cops, and the one where Sir John Hurt gets some company.
Written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall. This episode first aired January 26, 2020.
It's Ruth Clayton's birthday, and things are good. Leaving her husband Lee with a request to get her a cake, she heads off to her job as a tour guide in the city centre. The day is going well, apart from dealing with enamoured and suspicious barista Allan. But onboard a Judoon ship high above the Earth, the thuggish space police detect something in Gloucester and prepare to move in. Meanwhile on the TARDIS, the Doctor's companions get her to admit that she's been searching for the Master and slipping off home, when the conversation is interrupted by an alert: the Judoon have set up an enforcement field on Earth. The Doctor can get the TARDIS into the city, but it won't be easy.
The Judoon land and begin cataloguing the citizens, resulting in Ruth's friend Marcia getting disintegrated when she runs into the enforcement field. Meanwhile, the TARDIS lands at the café to find Allan and Lee, who is noticeably concerned when he hears the Doctor talk about the Judoon before he leaves. After warning Allan to keep the door locked and stay inside, the Doctor leaves to confront the Judoon, not noticing that something has teleported Graham away. Lee finds Ruth and quickly takes her home, asking her to trust him and saying they have to run. The Judoon arrive at Allan's shop, and he offers up his file on Lee, assuming he might be the fugitive they are looking for. But after Allan gives the Judoon captain a shove for making a mess, he is rewarded with a Judoon execution.
Graham finds himself on an alien ship, where a voice tells him to stay still while he turns off the security system. When the owner of the voice teleports in, it's none other than Captain Jack Harkness! Who proceeds to give Graham a big kiss, before revealing that he thinks Graham is the Doctor. Graham clears up the confusion, while Jack explains that he needs to alert the Doctor of a universal threat. And he seems quite intrigued/enthusiastic when Graham tells him that the Doctor is a "she" now.
Back in Gloucester, the Doctor, Ryan and Yaz track the Judoon leader to the Claytons' building, which they have identified as the location of the fugitive. The mercenaries are setting up a temporal displacement weapon to assault the building. The Doctor uses the psychic paper to claim she's an "Imperial Regulator", and she and her companions then claim that Earth has laws giving fugitives the right to third-party arbitration to buy time to talk to the Claytons. They also notice that Graham is missing, but have no time to wonder about his whereabouts, assuming he's just lagging behind. Reaching Ruth and Lee, the Doctor immediately notices that they've been packing. Despite the danger, Lee refuses to explain what he knows, as the Doctor points out they are running out of time and attempts to devise an exit strategy. Eventually, Lee persuades a reluctant Ruth to go with the Doctor as he's willing to speak with the Judoon, while Ryan and Yaz attempt to distract them for a bit. But as the Doctor and Ruth slip away, Ryan and Yaz only get as far as informing the Judoon that the fugitive is willing to talk before getting snatched away by Captain Jack's teleporter. Left alone, Lee sends a text message on his phone.
The Judoon enter the flat and confront Lee, who surrenders. But the conversation is interrupted by the arrival of one Commander Gat, a representative of the Judoon's employers, who reveals that Lee is not the fugitive. After mocking him for the sentimentality that led him to keep the old service medal that let him be tracked down, and pointing out that they have the same training, she summarily disintegrates Lee. In space, Ryan and Yaz find Graham and are introduced to Captain Jack, who subsequently assumes Yaz to be the Doctor, and is surprised to find out she has three companions right now. He bemoans the cheap, stolen equipment and realizes that there must be Judoon in the Doctor's vicinity, explaining why he can't get an accurate lock on her as their enforcement field is interfering.
The Doctor and Ruth take shelter in Gloucester Cathedral, and the Doctor asks Ruth to tell her everything she knows about Lee. In shock, Ruth doesn't have much to say and has no idea what's going on. Before they can get far, though, the Judoon burst in and surround them, identifying Ruth as the fugitive they're after. When the Doctor demands an explanation as to what happened to Lee, the Judoon Captain shows a hologram of Lee's death. Ruth's phone dings, and upon reading the text message she just got, she has a vision of a building and abruptly develops martial arts skills, attacking and taking down multiple Judoon before threatening the rest of them with a stolen blaster. The mercenaries depart after Ruth attacks the captain and breaks her nose horn off. But afterwards, Ruth is in shock, having no idea how she did any of that. The Doctor gets her to show her the text message that triggered it, which reads "Follow the light, break the glass". Ruth reveals that she had a vision of the remote lighthouse she grew up in, and the Doctor speculates that the message was a trigger phrase to activate some dormant personality inside her her true self, whoever that is. Realizing that answers must be at the lighthouse, the Doctor tells Ruth they're going to have to go there.
In space, Jack's next attempt to teleport the Doctor is prevented by security systems onboard the stolen ship, which is being chased. The security nanogenes are going to kill him, and since time is running out he has to pass his message on via the companions: "Beware the Lone Cyberman!" Graham, Ryan and Yaz don't know what Cybermen are, though, but Jack assures them they'll find out. He says that the Cybermen have become a Vestigial Empire, as "to defeat them, the Alliance sent this thing back through time, across space" but that will all change if the Lone Cyberman gets what it wants, and it is imperative that the Doctor not give it what it wants "at all costs". He also asks them to tell the Doctor that he promises he'll see her again, before being teleported away. The companions are left alone for a moment before the system Jack set up sends them back to Earth where they were taken from.
On the way to the lighthouse, Ruth explains that she grew up there with her parents, before moving to Gloucester in late 1999. Her parents are buried there now, and she hasn't been back in years. Once there, Ruth offers to start a fire while the Doctor asks if she can look around upstairs. But on the balcony at the top, the Doctor, scanning the area, notices a gravestone and, finding something odd about it, goes down to investigate. The gravestone is unmarked, and the Doctor, figuring there's something unusual about the grave, begins to dig it up. Ruth, after starting the fire, is looking around when she notices a fire alarm, with instructions to "BREAK GLASS". And when she does, a familiar golden light erupts from the device and goes into her.
At the same time, the Doctor finds another ray of golden light. Another familiar ray. In fact, a whole large sign that reads: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX. As the Whovians realize the numbering's getting another shakeup, inside the lighthouse the restored Ruth finds and opens a chest containing a large energy weapon, then heads to the closet for a quick wardrobe change.
The Doctor, stunned and perplexed, turns around to find Ruth, now in an orange sweater, double-breasted Waistcoat of Style, tighter trousers, and a dark blue greatcoat. In a significantly more austere manner, Ruth confirms we've got another Doctor, and tells Thirteen that the grave contains a time machine known as the TARDIS. She teleports herself and Thirteen inside her TARDIS (with classic roundels) and they prepare to confront the Judoon.
On Ruths console, Thirteen recognizes a Chameleon Arch. Ruth explains to Thirteen that she used it to hide out from her former employers, and appointed fellow Time Lord Lee to be her protector. Thirteen asks how she can be the same person as herself when she doesnt remember being in Ruths body. Out comes the sonic to confirm that Ruth is indeed the Doctor, but Ruth has her own questions to ask. The two wind up asking the same questions in perfect unison, further proof that they have the same brain and are the same person.
The Judoon ship in Earth orbit locks on to Ruths TARDIS and pulls it up via tractor beam. Stepping out, Ruth orders Thirteen to stay behind her, keep quiet and obey the Judoon while she interrogates them about their motives. Commander Gat shows herself, prompting Ruth to argue with her about Gallifrey and the Time Lords (of whom Gat is also a member), but Thirteen cannot resist cutting in to ask her burning questions, revealing herself to be the Doctor in the process. Gat looks at her in shock, having never seen two incarnations of the same Time Lord together before. Thirteen tries to defuse the situation, explaining that Gallifrey has been destroyed twice, once by the Time War and again by the Master. She convinces Gat by touching her face to make telepathic contact, showing her the ruins of Gallifrey she saw after the Masters rampage.
Gat snaps and seizes the laser weapon from Ruth. Ruth, however, warns her not to fire the weapon. Gat promptly does so, but it backfires and obliterates her. Thirteen then threatens to call the Judoons superiors in before using My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours to warn them not to touch Earth. Ruth drops Thirteen off in the middle of Gloucester, taking care to avoid Thirteens TARDIS before going off to see the universe again. Graham, Yaz and Ryan find Thirteen, now sullen and withdrawn, and relay Captain Jacks warning about the Lone Cyberman.
The Doctor explains to her fam in her TARDIS that with her recent encounters with the Master and Ruth and the news from Captain Jack, something must be coming for her, as if time were swirling around her. Graham, Yaz and Ryan tell her she was so important in helping them grow, and they think she is the best person they have ever known, before affirming they will always be by her side when the time comes. Before the Doctor can thank them, however, three alarms go off in the TARDIS. The Doctor begins to investigate, and the four are off on another adventure...
- Aliens in Cardiff: Judoon in Gloucester.
- Ambiguous Situation: Thirteen and Ruth have no memories of ever being the other, and thus have no idea where they fit into the Doctor's timeline relative to each other. For instance, Ruth doesn't use a sonic screwdriver, not even recognizing it initially but recognizing the name of the device when told. Further muddying the issue is the fact that she and Gat assume Gallifrey to still be standing, with the latter perplexed by its destruction when shown by the Doctor, which would seem to place them in the Doctor's past.
- Asshole Victim: Allan is a possessive creep well on his way to full Stalker with a Crush territory with Ruth. Not many tears are shed when the Judoon vapourize him, especially since he truly did bring it on himself.
- Backwards-Firing Gun: Gat's laser rifle gets recalibrated by Ruth into one of these.
- Batman Gambit: Ruth brings along a laser rifle for her confrontation with Gat, betting that Gat will attempt to execute her with that rifle. The rifle has been recalibrated to vapourize the one who fires it.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: The Ruth incarnation of the Doctor has no problem brandishing a laser rifle at Gat or the Judoon, though she whispers to Thirteen that it's a bluff when she challenges her over this.Thirteen: The Doctor never uses weapons!
Ruth: I know, shut up!
- Bavarian Fire Drill: The Doctor uses the psychic paper to convince the Judoon she's an "Imperial Regulator", and uses this to buy time by claiming that Earth has laws giving fugitives the right to third-party arbitration so she can talk with the Claytons.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The Doctor digs up a grave nervously with her bare hands. The hands are clean and smooth in the next shot on them and during the digging scene itself.
- Berserk Button: Snapping a Judoon's nose-horn is, according to the Doctor, the most insulting thing you can do to it.
- A Birthday, Not a Break: It's on Ruth Clayton's birthday that the Judoon come looking for her true identity on behalf of their employers.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: One of the Judoon vaporises an old woman's knitting after mistaking it for a weapon.Marcia: That was nine weeks of work!
- Brick Joke: The Doctor tricks the Judoon into thinking she's the "Imperial Regulator" to get into the Claytons' flat. When Ruth!Doctor's TARDIS gets picked up by the Judoon ship, the Judoon Captain gasps at the fact the Regulator is with the fugitive!
- Broken-Window Warning: Played for Laughs with the Final Warning Missile which the Judoon fire through the window—a glowing red spiky ball that plays a recorded Countdown Sequence and some legalese which no-one bothers to listen to.
- The Bus Came Back:
- This is the first prominent appearance of the Judoon in the Doctor Who universe since The Sarah Jane Adventures, appearing in "Prisoner of the Judoon", released 11 years prior; and the first prominent appearance for the species on Doctor Who proper since their debut in "Smith and Jones" 13 years prior.
- This is the first time Captain Jack Harkness has appeared in Doctor Who since "The End of Time", and it's the first time we've seen Jack on-screen at all since Miracle Day, which aired in 2011, almost nine years prior (and itself is tied up in Continuity Snarl issues).
- The Doctor has been looking for the Master ever since he was trapped in the Kasaavin dimension, and has been slipping off to ruined Gallifrey by herself while leaving her companions to explore.
- A historic cathedral is pointed out early on before later hosting a confrontation between the Doctor and the villain.
- Ruth, as the Doctor, used a Chameleon Arch to hide her identity, whilst her companion is the one in-the-know protecting her. And, like the Yana Master, she's clearly been undercover for some time. And she heard voices, just like Professor Yana.
- Jack Harkness' stolen ship has security nanogenes. He lampshades that he's always being attacked by them.
- Thirteen shows Gat her vision of the ruined Citadel to prove that she isn't lying about her time.
- The Doctor tells the fam that the Cybermen are just as dangerous as the Daleks. Having met a lone Dalek, they immediately recognise the severity.
- Celebrity Paradox: Ruth's conversation with the tourist establishes that the Harry Potter movies exist in the Whoniverse... movies which also contain several actors who appeared on Doctor Who, most notably Tenth Doctor David Tennant.
- Chekhov's Gun: Allan has compiled a dossier on Lee, which he attempts to give to Ruth to convince her to break up with him. He later gives the dossier to the Judoon captain, thinking Lee must be the fugitive they're hunting for.
- Cliffhanger: The TARDIS picks up alerts from three continents simultaneously and the fam leaps to respond, leading into "Praxeus".
- Conspiracy Theorist: "All Ears" Allan, the barista at the café Ruth and Lee frequent, believes Lee to be up to something and has compiled a dossier on him that he tries to give to Ruth. While he has a point, he doesn't realize that Ruth is also involved.
- Continuity Nod:
- "Judoon platoon near the Moon." Also, the Judoon give a woman "compensation" and start cataloguing humans by scanning them and marking their hands with an X.
- Graham is once again mistaken for the Doctor.
- When Graham comes to on Jack's stolen ship, Jack's warnings to him not to move are reminiscent of Jack's first meeting with Rose Tyler.
- Ruth doesn't understand how she managed to fight a Judoon officer. John Smith was surprised by his own ability to save a child with a thrown cricket ball.
- An unusual gravestone alerts the Doctor that the seeming "grave" isn't. And both graves are connected to the TARDIS.
- The Ruth Doctor wears "brainy specs".
- Like Twelve in "The Husbands of River Song", Thirteen gets treated like a companion by someone who doesn't know who she is.
- Ruth's TARDIS has the classic console room design, as well as the classic series police-box look. The console operating the timescoop also has similarities, raising the question of who Jack stole it from (we never see who's firing on him).
- Thirteen and Ruth speak in unison for a while, and acknowledge this as a consequence of interacting with another version of oneself. A similar situation had already happened when Amy met an older version of herself.
- Thirteen and Ruth keep arguing with each other, which might be a nod to an episode where two other Doctors did this.
- Ryan calls Jack "cheesy" a couple of times, calling back to how Mickey would use it first to insult and then affectionately tease Jack.
- The Doctor says the Cybermen are "always somewhere", which echoes the Twelfth Doctor's comments that any species could start upgrading themselves into Cybermen.
- Thirteen's small but daring-to-hope smile at the end echoes 12's "that's the trouble with hope, it's hard to resist" line in "The Eaters of Light".
- Does Not Like Guns: The Doctor is not happy about Ruth's laser rifle.
- The Ending Changes Everything: You get a hugely different perspective on Ruth and Lee, both their actions and their interactions, once you know who Ruth is and what their situation is.
- Failed Attempt at Drama:
- The Doctor rule-fu's the Judoon into granting her ten minutes to arbitrate with the fugitive, only to be forced down to five (then four-and-a-half minutes because she wastes time talking too much as usual).
- Jack's warning about the lone Cyberman doesn't have the desired effect on Yaz, Ryan, and Graham because at this point they have no idea what a Cyberman is.
- Female Monster Surprise: The Judoon troop leader is revealed as female when the Doctor says they can sort this out "woman to woman."
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: Right before Ruth smashes the glass, Gallifreyan symbols can be seen on the fire alarm.
- The episode opens on a shot of Ruth's watch, an object associated with Chameleon Arch disguises.
- The windows in Ruth's flat share the same six-pane layout as those of the TARDIS, and her mirror is hexagonal, a shape commonly seen throughout the TARDIS console rooms.
- As a human, Ruth wants to show tourists the wonders of her city just as the Doctor wants to show their companions the wonders of the Universe. For bonus points, she's introduced as a Friend to All Children and Friend to All Living Things.
- Lee picks Thirteen out as the smart one, saying he sees something in her eyes. He could be recognising Ruth's characteristics in her.
- Gat addresses Lee as "faithful companion" before she murders him. Now, if he's the companion, then who is Ruth?
- When Thirteen presses Ruth for more information about the lighthouse she grew up in, Ruth comments that she hasn't even thought about that place in many years. Repressed childhood memories... or a perception filter at work keeping her from remembering what's inside?
- The Judoon troop leader warns that their contracts are always fulfilled. A Judoon cold case squad turns up to arrest the Doctor at the end of "The Timeless Children".
- Halfway Plot Switch: While the Judoon feature prominently in the first half of the episode, they quickly disappear as the plot hinges on Ruth's identity (although they return at the climax).
- Heroic Sacrifice: Lee gives himself up to the Judoon to facilitate Ruth's escape.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: Gat decides to execute the Ruth incarnation with the laser rifle Ruth stole from her. As Ruth pleads with her not to fire, she pulls the trigger... and is vaporised because Ruth recalibrated the weapon.
- Humanity Ensues: Ruth turns out to be an incarnation of the Doctor disguised by a Chameleon Arch. It's indicated that Lee may also have been a Time Lord or otherwise Gallifreyan, albeit with his memories intact: he says "Humans!" in an annoyed tone while talking to Allan, and Gat, who is a Time Lord, notes that they have the same training.
- Hypocrite: Thirteen's insistence that "The Doctor never uses weapons"... yeah. A heat ray, a sonic disintegrator, a demat gun, an actual pistol, a staser, and lightning fired from the Wardenclyffe Tower. And that's not even counting all the booby-trapped weapons they've let various enemies blow themselves up with, which the Doctor also chastizes Ruth for after Gat fired a weapon sabotaged by Ruth, to which Ruth replies that she gave Gat a chance not to fire; Thirteen herself did something very similar in her first outing, transferring Tzim-Sha's DNA bombs into him and begging him not to pull the trigger, but not telling him what would happen if he did.
- Idiot Ball: As Gat lampshades, Lee is supposed to be hiding yet kept his easily-trackable service medal in a box that couldn't even shield its energy signature. Lee says he kept it for sentimental reasons.
- In Case of X, Break Glass: Ruth's Chameleon Arch is disguised as part of a fire alarm system, and breaking the glass activates it and restores her true self.
- Incoming Ham: The first thing Jack does when he's on screen? Snog Graham!
- Insignificant Blue Planet: Gat congratulates Lee on his choice of hiding place in "the far backside of a tiny galaxy".
- Ironic Echo: After Ruth receives a message from Lee that triggers a sudden display of martial defence against the Judoon that sends them away, she reacts with horror and denies that that was part of her, saying that she knows her own life. Later, when Ruth is revealed to be the Fugitive Doctor, the Thirteenth Doctor denies that she could be a part of her past because she knows her own life.
- Irony: As sympathetically as possible, Thirteen pays for snapping at her companions with "you ask too many questions" by getting treated like a companion herself and told to not ask questions.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While she's suffering from a Trauma Conga Line (see below), the Doctor has a bit of a point in saying that her friends don't know her: Ryan, Yaz, and Graham have been with her for...well, it's impossible to know how many unseen adventures they've had, but it's probably been a few months, at most, in-universe. The Doctor is thousands of years old, and has been through more than they can possibly imagine.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Graham makes fun of Allan's terrible cake, but since Allan is a creeper douchebag we don't mind that much.
- Kidnapped by an Ally: Captain Jack teleports away first Graham, then Ryan and Yaz while trying to get to the Doctor: he has a message for her, but the Judoon enforcement field is making it impossible for his stolen equipment to get an accurate lock on her.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- When Captain Jack Harkness appears.Captain Jack: You missed me, right!?
- And right before that, his "You can get excited now" pretty much sums up fans' reactions to his return.
- When the Doctor unearths her TARDIS under the lighthouse, and Ruth opens her Chameleon Arch.Ruth: You're probably a bit confused, right now.
- Jack is repeatedly called cheesy, in a nod to how much the show's tone has changed since the RTD era, as well as a Continuity Nod to what Mickey Smith used to call him.
- When Captain Jack Harkness appears.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Ruth believes herself to be an ordinary tourist guide living in Gloucester, but when confronted by a Judoon squad she manages to take them all out, singlehandedly, with martial arts and a stolen rifle.
- Love Triangle: Even though Ruth is Happily Married to Lee, Allan the café owner clearly has feelings for her and pleads with her to break up with Lee to be with him. He even ices the words "You Can Do Better" onto the birthday cake he bakes for her.
- The Many Deaths of You: As per tradition, Jack gets killed in the episode, in this case by the nanogenes the ship uses for its security system.
- Meaningful Name:
- Ruth is pretty ruthless in her true identity.
- "Gat" is slang for a gun; Gat's readiness to use guns is her downfall.
- Meta Twist: As with the War Doctor, this is not the first time the Doctor has ever met a different version of themselves; not even a version of themselves that the audience hadn't seen before. However, this is the first time the Doctor has met a version of themselves that neither of them recognised.
- Mistaken Identity: Jack has a hard time finding the Doctor since his stolen ship's cheap equipment can't accurately lock on to her thanks to the Judoon's enforcement field, so when he initially snags Graham he assumes that he's the Doctor not knowing about the Gender Bender helps. After being corrected, Jack then tries again but gets Ryan and Yaz; this time (having learned about the Gender Bender) he assumes that Yaz is the Doctor.
- Morning Routine: How Ruth is introduced. Includes petting a dog.
- My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours:
- The Judoon are Trigger Happy Space Police but they're also Rules Lawyers, so the Doctor pretends to be an Imperial Regulator and wins a brief reprieve (four minutes, thirty seconds) by claiming that she's acting under local Earth laws, which the Judoon are unfamiliar with.
- Ruth gets the Judoon to stop trying to arrest her by pointing out they just entered interstellar space, and therefore she's under no-one's jurisdiction.
- Mythology Gag: The strong hints that the new "Ruth" Doctor is actually a distant past incarnation contain many links to past Doctors; see the Wild Mass Guess page for various theories.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Gat is outraged when she realises that two different incarnations of the Doctor are in such close proximity to each other, fearing the damage it could do to the timeline. When Ruth returns the Doctor to Earth, she makes a point of not letting her TARDIS get too close to Thirteen's, citing the same reason.
- No Time to Explain:
- The Doctor when barging in on Ruth, who's seen enough already not to need an explanation.
- After shooting Lee, Gat snaps, "Do I have to spell it out for you?" when the Judoon demands an explanation. As the Judoon is next seen trying to arrest the real fugitive, she clearly doesn't.
- The Doctor is on the receiving end from the Ruth-Doctor and isn't happy.
- Not So Dire: The episode opens with a closeup of an ominously ticking wristwatch timing...the making of Ruth's toast.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Ruth and Thirteen have this vibe going once they both know who the other is, insulting each other's taste in clothing and Ruth later telling Thirteen "I'd quite like it if you got off my ship now."
- Red Herring: Lee's scared response to the Judoon's presence, and his knowledge of the alien box in Ruth's flat, make him appear to be the fugitive the Judoon are hunting. However, the real fugitive is Ruth, an incarnation of the Doctor who lost her memories through the Chameleon Arch, and Lee just has more awareness of the situation than she has.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Ruth says that part of the reason she's at odds with Gat involves a job that she didn't apply for and can't exactly leave, although she's clearly trying to.
- The Reveal: Ruth is the fugitive, she's actually an incarnation of the Doctor, and it's the Time Lords who are hunting her, from a time period where Gallifrey hasn't been devastated.
- Rewatch Bonus: You may not have noticed first time through how skillfully the writers make it seem natural that the Doctor never introduces herself to Ruth or Lee, and not once do any of the fam call her the Doctor in their presence.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Allan is sure Lee isn't who he says he is, based on his own investigation which indicates that Lee is lying about his past, and assumes he's the fugitive the Judoon want. He's half-right about that.
- Secret-Keeper: Like Martha before (or after?) him, Lee is privy to Ruth's true nature and has been entrusted to protect her while she lives in forced ignorance.
- Self-Applied Nickname: No-one calls "All Ears" Allan that but himself.
- Shout-Out: In order to impress one of the tourists outside Gloucester Cathedral, Ruth mentions that the Harry Potter movies were filmed there. This also results in something of a Celebrity Paradox since the Harry Potter films feature many actors who have also been in Doctor Who, including John Hurt and David Tennant.
- Sidetracked by the Analogy: When she meets the Judoon trying to destroy Ruth's house, Thirteen is understandably frustrated... but she seems more frustrated finding something to rhyme with Judoon. She feebly says "lagoon" and it looks like it was a Painful Rhyme.
- Speak in Unison: Thirteen and Ruth do this shortly after Thirteen reveals her identity, further proving they are the same person.
- Spiritual Antithesis: This episode is essentially the story of "Human Nature/The Family of Blood" minus the Dramatic Irony of that story where the Doctor's Chameleon Arch is made apparent in the prologue. Here, it's set up as The Reveal.
- Stealth Pun:
- After Ruth becomes the Doctor again, and no longer Ruth, she becomes ruthless.
- A Doctor named Ruth is likely an intentional pun in itself.
- Tempting Fate:
- As she heads out for work, Ruth dares this Monday to do its worst. By the end of the day, her husband is dead and Ruth has learned that she's not who she thought she was.
- When going to confront Gat, Ruth-Doctor tells the Doctor to stay out of things and keep her mouth shut. She really should know better there.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Ruth Clayton thinks she's an ordinary human woman. She's actually a Time Lord under the effect of a Chameleon Arch. And not just any Time Lord...
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Allan, go ahead and shove the cantankerous and heavily armed rhinoceros alien police officer, what could possibly go wrong?
- Tough Love: Graham, Ryan and Yaz try and make it clear to the Doctor that isolating herself on purpose isn't fair on them, but also that they care about her.
- Tractor Beam: The Judoon catch Ruth-Doctor's TARDIS in one to haul it aboard before she can take off.
- Trigger Phrase: The Doctor theorises that reading a text message from Lee that says "Follow the light, break the glass" awakens instincts in Ruth that allow her to fight off a Judoon squad singlehandedly.
- Tuckerization: Judoon captain Pol-Con-Don is named in honour of late Doctor Who fan and BBC producer Paul Condon, who died in spring 2019 right as this episode was being produced.
- Unreadable Disclaimer: While preparing to fire the illegal temporal cannon, the Judoon give some kind of legal disclaimer that's drowned out by everyone else talking.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: While the Doctor handles the Fugitive plot, the companions are whisked away by Captain Jack Harkness and told to give the Doctor vital information that does not really connect to the episode.
- The Unreveal: The companions trying to get the Doctor to open up serve as book-ends to the episode, with the latter moment setting up the perfect moment for the Doctor to reveal what happened to Gallifrey... both times are interrupted by an alert going off. The second time the Doctor accuses the TARDIS of doing it on purpose.
- Vagueness Is Coming: Jack's message to the Doctor is to beware "the lone Cyberman" and to not give it what it wants. Apparently there isn't time for any further details.
- Vestigial Empire: According to Captain Jack, the Cybermen have become this by whatever point in time he's in, but indicates that the "lone Cyberman" he's warning of has been sent back in time in an attempt for the cyborgs to regain their power, and asks that the Doctor not give it what it wants.
- Wham Episode: Captain Jack Harkness returns, abducting the companions briefly while trying to get a message to the Doctor about a Cyberman. And Ruth Clayton turns out to be an unknown incarnation of the Doctor, even though neither she nor Thirteen remember ever being the other. On top of that, she's also a fugitive from Gallifrey, which clearly hasn't been destroyed in her time.
- Wham Line: Take your pick:
Ruth: You don't. You're my future.
- When Graham's mysterious kidnapper reveals himself.
- When Jack gives the Fam a message for the Doctor.Captain Jack Harkness: Beware the Lone Cyberman!
- And of course, when Ruth reintroduces herself.Ruth: Let me take it from the top. Hello. I'm the Doctor.
- The Doctor is thrown at the idea of turning into Ruth but Ruth realizes she has it backward.
- When Gat explains why the Judoon cannot apprehend both Doctors, we also learn who their employers are.Gat: It'll destroy the Time Streams before you get anywhere near Gallifrey!
- Wham Shot:
- The appearance of Jack Harkness, and his "You missed me, right?!"
- Ruth smashing the fire alarm glass on the wall (which has Circular Gallifeyan writing on its side), which activates the familiar golden light of a Chameleon Arch.
- The Doctor digging up the grave near the lighthouse... to find the words "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX" staring back up at her.
- The X of Y: "Fugitive of the Judoon". Interestingly, it shares its name with "Prisoner of the Judoon", a story from The Sarah Jane Adventures with a similar premise.
- X-Ray Sparks: Marcia's disintegration when she runs into the enforcement field has this effect.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The Doctor's attempt to tell her companions that they don't know who she really is gets rebuffed by them replying that they know her well enough to think that she's the best person they know.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Said by Jack when the security nanos activate, and Ruth-Doctor when she discovers who her latest 'companion' is.